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FIFA World Cup 2014 announcement
At least in Europe:
Soccer’s global body FIFA lost a fight to block free TV access to World Cup matches after the European Union’s highest court said top games should be available to all viewers if governments insist.

The EU Court of Justice also ruled that European body UEFA can’t prevent fans with access to a TV from watching national teams in European Championship matches for free.

The court in Luxembourg said today it’s for EU countries alone “to determine the events which are of major importance” and available to anyone with a TV set.

A ruling in FIFA’s favor could have ended decades of tradition in the U.K., where the World Cup, the most-watched sporting event, must be shown on free television channels including the British Broadcasting Corp.

What a relief for soccer fans from England and Belgium! U.S. fans? Not so much. You're still at the mercy of cable networks like ESPN, Fox Sports (in 2015 and beyond), and internet service providers. In 2010, Time Warner Cable blocked access to ESPN3, which had exclusive rights to show the games online in 2010. Going into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it is unclear whether Time Warner Cable customers will be left offline again, but at least we can count a victory for our friends across the pond.

In the meantime, you can catch Landon Donovan and the red hot American squad take on El Salvador in CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament on Sunday, July 21, 4 PM ET on Fox or Univision.

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Correction needed Re: WC qualifier (4+ / 0-)

    You have the date and the opponent wrong for the next US MNT WC qualifier: it is not on July 21 nor is it against El Salvador. It is on 9/6 @ Costa Rica.

    The US is scheduled to play El Salvador on 7/21, but that is part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. El Salvador did not make the final hexagonal round of CONCACAF WC qualifying.

  •  Just to qualifiy you link to qualifiers. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jen Hayden

    The USA Men's National Team has qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal against El Salvador on Sunday.

    The final 4  FIFA World Cup qualifier games for the USMNT start in September:

    Sept. 6 vs. Costa Rica
    Sept. 10 vs. Mexico
    Oct. 11 vs. Jamaica
    Oct. 15 vs. Panama

  •  Crown jewels (0+ / 0-)

    This will have an effect on Rupert Murdoch's Sky satellite service as I note in my earlier diary. Sky relies on subscription income and much is derived from English League soccer and F1 racing coverage. (You cannot subscribe separately to these sports but must get a $33 "sports" package). The EFL monopoly has already been broken by BT successfully bidding for the live rights for the smaller package when the Football League were forced to split the games to encourage competition.

    The challenge was to the British list of reserved sporting events that must be aired free in the UK because of their importance to national culture. There are two levels of these "crown jewels". The first are those that must be transmitted free on terrestrial television live. The second are those where highlights must be transmitted terrestrially free later.

    Effectively the crown jewels' broadcasting rights costs mean that only the four "public service broadcasters" (PSBs) can afford them. In practice only the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have sufficient income to bid for rights. Channel 4 is a minority channel and concentrate on horse racing although they were the official Paralympics broadcaster last year with the BBC showing full Olympic coverage (since this went over up to 12 simultaneous transmissions of different events, they were also the only one with transmission resources to do it.)

    The PSBs also transmit free to air on the Astra satellites at 28.2 East which also carry the encrypted Sky channels. This was required as part of the switch to digital so that the roughly 5% who cannot access terrestrial transmissions are able to watch. Rather handily the satellite "footprint", in addition to the UK and Ireland, extends over a lot of western Europe. Reception in other countries can depend on the size of dish. Most of the UK can use 60cm dishes (90 cm in northern England and Scotland) though in southern Spain and the westmost länder of Germany dishes of up to 2 metres may be needed.

    We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:15:37 PM PDT

  •  World Cup 2022 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente, immigradvocate

    In other news, I saw somewhere today that FIFA is considering a request to move World Cup 2022 in Qatar from summer to winter to make it more bearable for fans. The stadiums will all be air conditioned, but they're concerned about the 122 temps elsewhere. Seems like something they should have considered before awarding the WC to Qatar, considering the impact it would have on the Champions League's winter scheduling.

    •  Bait and switch (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Qatar NEVER bid for a winter WC nor did FIFA suggest switching it to the winter. IMO the US should be awarded the bid.

      •  I know US soccer execs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        were stunned by the Qatar announcement. They had been working so hard to get those rights and we have the capability of hosting it RIGHT NOW. More so than any other country in the world.

        •  Eh? (0+ / 0-)

          How many stadia have/will have the necessary goal line verification technology in place? The viability of public transport for travelling fans is another factor Fifa probably took into account.

          The major point for choosing Qatar was their desire to promote football in areas where it has not been played extensively before - in that respect a bid from India would be most desirable.  

          We will work, we will play, we will laugh, we will live. We will not waste one moment, nor sacrifice one bit of our freedom, because of fear.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 02:46:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. Qatar was picked because they paid for votes (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CrissieP, BYw, rtaylor352, Jen Hayden

            Quite simple -- Qatar's bid was successful because of corruption and graft -- promised benefits to the countries voting for Qatar and possibly even money paid directly to national representatives.

            It had nothing to do with Asia, and there was no bid from India -- nor could there be. India does not have the stadia or the money to build them.

            Also, public transport isn't really even a consideration for Qatar. Qatar lacks the hotel capacity, so most fans will stay in other countries and fly in for games.

            I have no idea why  you raised goal-line tech. You can be sure that going forward all Cup matches will use goal-line tech, wherever they're played.

            Also, it's rubbish to believe Qatar's b.s. about air conditioning outdoor stadiums, but FIFA Pres. Blatter is correct in noting that the temps will be too hot throughout the country -- for tourists and for players training. Qatar has money, but few people. Putting a World Cup there was foolishness. Hopefully this is a prelude to a re-vote...and an honest vote.

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

            by FischFry on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:59:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  more TV coverage, fewer hooligans in the streets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Says Who

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 08:42:14 PM PDT

  •  I see 100% men in that pic. Shouldn't women... (0+ / 0-)

    have some say?

    I share a birthday with John Lennon and Bo Obama.

    by peacestpete on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:04:07 PM PDT

  •  I'll be in Baltimore for game.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hopefully, I will be able to get to Brazil next year. I've gone to see the USA play 6 World Cup games over the years, and I have yet to see them win.  

    As for what you write about Time-Warner, I hadn't heard that, but I have no clue why they would block online access for their own subscribers. If anything, they could have used access to ESPN3 as a selling point. If I were a Time-Warner subscriber, I would have switched to another provider ASAP.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 09:45:53 PM PDT

    •  Fisch - (0+ / 0-)

      my family and I have become die hard soccer fans - ever since WC 2010.  We'd love to go to Brazil next year but don't know the best way to approach it re tickets and how to get them, best time to go (we couldn't stay more than a week - if we could even afford it, which is a big question) but do you have any suggestions?

      Most of the folks telling President Obama how to do his job, couldn't be president if their lives depended on it. ...Mrs. Mills, 2013

      by CrissieP on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 06:26:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I went to WC 2010 in SA, here's my advice... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CrissieP, FischFry

         First Decision:

         First decide what's more important to you, the actual teams you watch or the places you want to stay. The team groupings and games are decided by a random drawing. If you're deadset on watching USA games, you have to choose which ones and travel to that location. If you're more interested in staying in a certain host city, then you have to choose which games there interest you.

         Getting tickets:

         The first way is to join the FIFA lottery. If you get picked when they first release tickets to the games you sign up for, your credit card is charged and they send you the tickets.

         If you don't get picked that way, you can check online sites like Ebay. Only bid from a seller with high feedback and make sure you have time to receive to have the tickets shipped to you before you leave.

         Lastly, you'll have opportunities to buy tickets from others when you are in country. Any lodging with multiple fans will likely have a board with offers on it.

         The best time to go, in my opinion, is during the group stages. That way you know you'll have a chance to see the teams you want. It will go from June 12th to June 26th.

         I havent decided whether or not I'm going till I know the USA is going, where they'll be playing, and how much it will cost to get there and stay there. All that becomes clear after the draw takes place in early December.

         Hope this helps!

        •  thank you! (0+ / 0-)

          this is very helpful - I'm hoping that we'll be able to pull it off.

          Most of the folks telling President Obama how to do his job, couldn't be president if their lives depended on it. ...Mrs. Mills, 2013

          by CrissieP on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 09:35:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No problem, here is the web site with more info... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
          •  Easiest time to get tix is as tournament starts. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Lots of unused corporate sponsor tickets being sold in resales by FIFA or on sites like ebay. Although tix are supposed to be tied to a passport, so that only that person can use 'em, it doesn't actually work that way.

            As for lotteries, there are usually two sets -- one for those that are willing to buy tickets without knowing which teams are playing, and tickets that go to those wanting to follow national team.

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

            by FischFry on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:29:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree about the group stage (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I had a ticket to see essentially the USA/Ghana winner against Brazil in the Rd. of 16 in Dortmund, in '06. Didn't work out so well -- though I had a blast watching the USA-Ghana game.  I decided to sell the next round ticket and get back to the USA.

            Best to go when you know for sure your team will still be in the competition...though I like what our boys are doing lately.

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

            by FischFry on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:33:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  VPN...just sayin' (0+ / 0-)

    I was able to watch the London Olympics via BBC

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Sat Jul 20, 2013 at 11:17:51 PM PDT

  •  Not blocked by Time-Warner (0+ / 0-)

    I actually read the article. ESPN3 blocked Time-Warner from showing the matches. It appears ESPN3 wants a fee for every internet subscriber an ISP has in order to allow their content to be shown.

    •  ISPs should NOT shoe ESPN3 (0+ / 0-)

      The entire ESPN3 business model is a terrible idea.

      "The fee per customer for a small ISP like myself would be $0.79 per user, but would be substantially less for a larger one," notes user SuperWISP See Profile (aka Brett Glass, operator of Wyoming WISP "So, our large competitors would have to raise their rates less per customer than smaller ISPs, giving them a big advantage, he says. "ESPN also seems not to realize that ISPs' margins are tiny as it is -- I make about $2.50 per month on a basic residential customer now, and so their fee would take an outrageous 1/3 of my profit."

      Large or small ISP you end up paying for it whether you want it or not.

  •  Way down on my list of progressive priorities. (0+ / 0-)

    It's a product and it belongs to its manufacturers.  They can distribute it however they like, as far as I'm concerned.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Sun Jul 21, 2013 at 08:46:25 AM PDT

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